Common causes of injuries to airport baggage handlers

Airports around the country are seeing more traffic as an increasing number of people feel safe to travel during this time of COVID-19. A boost in the number of people vaccinated for the virus has some trying to regain a sense of normalcy. And part of that normalcy means airplane travel again.

The busting at airports has begun. And with this development, more airport workers are back on the job in places such as the Sacramento International Airport. Among this group are the unsung baggage handlers whose more physical-oriented job potentially causes them occasional injuries, some of which are significant. All that lifting, loading, pushing and carrying can take a toll on the human body.

Overexertion, repetitive motion

Some of the baggage they lift can weigh up to 75 pounds. Baggage handlers also regularly push large carts brimming with passenger luggage as well as passengers who need assistance via wheelchair. The mild aches, pains and strains may gradually worsen due to the nature of musculoskeletal injuries. And the stress, sometimes, is difficult to overcome.

Injuries to baggage handlers often are caused by:

  • Overexertion: The constant lifting and pushing of heavy things may harm your body. Injuries to the neck, lower back, knees, shoulders, ligaments and tendons are not uncommon for workers in this role. Nerve damage and hernias also represent a potential hazard of the baggage handler job.
  • Repetitive motion: For several hours every day, baggage handlers are on the move. Repetitive motion may lead to tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. These ailments may take time to heal.
  • Slips, trips and falls: An improper lift can cause a person to lose his or her footing, so can a slippery floor. A serious tumble may lead to concussions, traumatic brain injuries and fractures.

As airlines get back into the groove of increased everyday activity, these companies must understand that protecting their employees remains a priority. With proper training and equipment, baggage handlers can perform their jobs more efficiently. This also may save on the number of injuries.